The latest ConservativeHome Cabinet League Table saw Boris Johnson all but plunge into the black – another of the ups and downs of his scores over the years.
These have ranged from a 93 per cent positive rating in the wake of the 2019 general election to an actual negative rating last autumn. As in other respects, life with the Prime Minister is never dull.
It may be worth putting our lastest finding in perspective, by considering it alongside an aspect of the survey neglected recently – namely, the proportion of panel members who believe that there will be a Conservative led government after the next election.
Here are the figures for the year to date:
- July: 86 per cent.
- June: 91 per cent.
- May: 91 per cent.
- April: 87 per cent.
- March: 90 per cent.
- February: 87 per cent.
- January: 83 per cent.
Each result breaks down into three categories: those who expect a Conservative majority; a Tory minority government, and a coalition. The last figure hovers at around three per cent; the second one at about seven per cent.
Some 70 per cent of respondents expect the first (with the remainder expecting Labour to form an administration of some kind.
The variation in these findings are so small as to leave an obvious point in their wake: activists’ present exasperation with Johnson is balanced by a steady expectation that the Conservatives will win the next election.
In most cases, we believe that respondents expect him still to be Prime Minister then, though perhaps we should run a check.
There are many weaknesses in the Government’s position, not least post-Covid challenges, divided views on tax and spending, emerging problems on net zero and lingering ones on social care, and the shapelessness of parts of the levelling up programme.
But Johnson’s strategic position remains a source of real strength for him.